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Computer Protection 2009

Piret Aro, Look@World Foundation, Estonia

Article shows experience and milestones of Look@World project with an objective to lead Estonians to the Internet and reviews planned activities of initiative Computer Protection 2009. The goal of the initiative is to make Estonia a country with the most secure information society in the world by 2009.

In 2001, Estonias most influential companies established a foundation called Look@World[1] with an objective to lead Estonians to the Internet. Within three years, the foundation fulfilled its ambitious goal to give basic computer and Internet training for 100,000 Estonians. In addition, 500 public Internet access points were opened and an eSchool system that has gained both domestic and international reputation was developed.
As the use of computers, the Internet and e-services increased in Estonia, it was time to start paying more attention on computer protection and what ordinary computer users can do in order to ensure the security of both themselves and their computers in the Internet. A security-conscious computer user is also a warranty for the security of e-services.
In the light of the above-mentioned, the Look@World Foundation launched a new initiative in 2006, when the biggest telecom companies and banks in Estonia (AS EMT, AS Elion, AS SEB and AS Hansapank) together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications signed a co-operation agreement called Computer Protection 2009. The goal of the initiative is to make Estonia a country with the most secure information society in the world by 2009. To this end, the partners of the Computer Protection 2009 agreed to direct users of their e-services from using password-based identification to more secure authentication methods (including the ID card and Mobiil-ID). The parties aim to achieve massive use of the ID card and Mobiil-ID in electronic channels with an objective to have at least 400,000 Estonians using either the ID card or the Mobiil-ID for electronic authentication and digital signing by the end of 2009.
By today, other large organisations and companies providing e-services have joined the co-operation agreement: eSchool, Tax and Customs Board, Centre of Registers and Information Systems, Estonian Informatics Centre, AS Eesti Energia, Eesti Krediidipank, Nordea Bank, Sampo Bank, AS Tele2, AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus, and the city of Tallinn.

Activities of Computer Protection 2009
Various activities have been carried out in the framework of the initiative, most of which have been training courses. The following is a list of activities implemented by the Look@World Foundation:

development and constant upgrading of its basic ID training on;

training of employees of various organisations and companies (all in all, more than 1,500 people);

implementation of a one-year pilot on mobile training box (visited by 6,300 people of which 4,300 received thorough ID training);

in co-operation with AS Elion, implementation of a pilot called Technician to home (free ID-support either at home or at an office);

together with partnering organizations, creation of banners urging to use the ID card and the Mobiil-ID.

Since November 2006 the foundation maintains two blogs[2] providing information and practical instructions on computer security. In autumn 2007, the Look@World Foundation launched, in co-operation with Microsoft, a computer security environment for children[3]. Daily activities of the organisation also include the administration and development of the ID website[4] and increasing, in co-operation with AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus, the user-friendliness of the ID cards software (installation software and renewal of certificates) and its use.
Furthermore, activities carried out by the foundation include organisation of a joint procurement for the supply of affordable ID card readers; a media campaign with a slogan Right thing, right century held in autumn 2007 and aimed at the promotion of the ID card and Mobiil-ID; compilation and production of different information materials for the dissemination at trainings and in service bureaus of partnering organisations; commissioning and analysing several surveys on ID card use and relevant services.
An important milestone to be mentioned in this context is the publication of a book entitled Computer Protection A-B-C[5]. The book explains, in laymans terms, computer security related terms, and gives practical instructions for secure behavior in the Internet.
The activities of the foundation have been targeted not only at end users, but also at developers responsible for ID related issues in enterprises and organisations. In spring 2008, the foundation organised, in co-operation with AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus, a one-day seminar Digital identity and how to add it to ones applications. The aim of the seminar was to offer advice and support to those responsible for ID development in their organisations.
In May 2007, AS EMT together with AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus launched the Mobiil-ID service, in case of which certificates are maintained on the SIM card of a mobile phone (not on the ID card as usual). Other mobile operators Tele 2 and Elisa plan to conclude their respective development work and launch the service for their clients in 2009.
Computer Protection 2009 has received also wider recognition the Association of Estonian IT and Telecommunications Companies awarded the project with the title The Deed of the Year 2006.

Plans for 2009
The year 2009 will be busy for the Look@World Foundation. Namely, with the support of the EU Structural Funds, six projects will be carried out in order to give ID training to nearly 70, 000 people and advise approximately 200,000 people on the use of e-services. The projects to be carried out include:

 ID support centre (24/7 assistance for ID related issues by phone, e-mail and through a website);

eBus (training on the use of e-services and ID matters in a bus/computer class riding through Estonia);

mobile training box (practical and personal training on the use of e-services and ID matters at bank offices, fairs, conferences, etc);

interactive web-based training  course (practical and interactive self-training course for all);

support centres for the use of e-services (advising, training and obtaining feedback from potential users of e-services in service bureaus of organisations and enterprises providing public e-services);

eCitizen training network (classic classroom training for all throughout Estonia).

The preliminary applications of these projects have been approved by the Estonian Informatics Centre and these serve as a basis for the organisation of procurements. The prerequisite for the implementation of the projects is satisfaction of the final applications once the procurements have been carried out. First trainings are expected to start in spring 2009.

Number of ID card users
In May 2006, when the Computer Protection 2009 co-operation agreement was signed, there were approximately 20,000-25,000 ID card users in Estonia. This number was planned to be doubled yearly (the target was 100,000 ID card users by the end of 2007; 200,000 by the end of 2008 and 400,000 users by the end of 2009).
By the end of 2008, the number of ID card users was nearly 180,000, accounting to more than 17% of those having a valid ID card. During the last six months, the ID card has been used by more than 12% of people possessing a valid ID card. In years 2002-2008, there have been nearly 20 million electronic authentications and 10 million digital signatures have been issued.
Though there is a slight backlog in terms of the number of ID card users, a considerable increase is expected in 2009 as a result of large-scale training programmes.

[1] Vaata Maailma SA: (only in Estonian).
[2] (in Estonian) and (in Russian)
[5] (only in Estonian)

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